“Is there alcohol in this?”
“Oh god, no, honey, what kind of a mother do you think I am….why, do you want a little bit? Because if you’re gonna drink, I’d rather you do it in the house.”
Hands-down, this is my favorite scene from Mean Girls, in which the mother of the top mean girl herself tries with wince-worthy eagerness to be seen as “a cool mom” by offering up everything from cocktails to condoms to her teenaged daughter’s friends.
I remember the “cool” parents of my high school friends: the ones who’d pretend not to noticed the kegger going on in the backyard; the ones who’d lie for you if your parents called and you weren’t where you were supposed to be; the ones who’d actually supply the booze – and a “safe” place to consume it – themselves.
I once fell asleep on the floor with a bunch of other kids at a male friend’s house party, and woke up to find his mother casually stepping over me on her way to the kitchen. “Oh, hi, honey,” she said as I gawked – I’d assumed she wasn’t home and had no idea what was happening in her living room, and to say that I was flustered to find out she’d been there the whole time would be putting it mildly. And, to be honest, even at the age of 17 I felt a little judge-y about it. Aren’t parents supposed to, you know, PARENT?
Now that I’m an adult with my own teenagers, however, I have a lot more empathy for parents who find themselves compelled to be “cool” by allowing, or even assisting in, activities that they’re personally unsure about. The world is a big, scary place when you have teens, what with their rapidly-developing bodies and accompanying hormones, access to alcohol (not to mention substances we may never even have heard of,) and cars to get them from place to dangerous place. [click to continue…]